Though ‘Dune’ got written in English, the original language spoken by the people of the novel is Galach. Galach is a language that evolved from English and other ancient languages on Earth. The pronunciations for the Galach originated from the Slavic tongues of the Old Earth.
Galach is the official language of the Imperium and the most spoken language throughout the known universe in ‘Dune.’ Originating from English and other ancient languages of Earth, Galach became diverse and got spoken in numerous dialects. Many languages like the Fremen language and battle language got formed from Galach.
The Relevance of Galach in the Dune Universe
Because it was the primary language spoken, Galach was a crucial part of the culture for many planets and people. From normal humans to advanced species like Futars and the Tleilaxu, Galach was the primary source of communication.
Though it was widely popular, there were many variations of Galach; this was because the numerous planets in the Imperium had their unique culture and rituals. From the Fremen to the Sardaukar, there were variations in both writing and speaking the language. Even with the variation in vocabulary, every dialect of Galach was readable by almost everyone.
Galach and other Languages of Dune
Because of its popularity, there were many variations of the Galach language:
- Battle Language
- The Fremen Language
Explore each of these in more detail below.
Azhar was a language that dated back to the age before the Bene Gesserit and the Butlerian Jihad. It was a secret language used by the Sorceresses of Rossak. The language got written in a coded manner preventing anyone not attuned to it from knowing the secrets written with the language. Because of its coded format, Lady Anirul Corrino kept a journal filled with secrets from her husband, Shaddam IV.
Galach got encoded into battle language. Battle language was a style of coded writing that ensured enemies could not decipher vital orders from the chain of command in war. Battle language involved using hand signs or ancient long-forgotten languages.
Bhotani is a language that disappeared from the world long before the events of ‘Dune.’ It was a secret hunting language derived from Chakbosa, the dialect spoken by the Fremen.
Chakbosa is a language derived from a mixture of many Bhotani dialects. It was among the primary language used by the Fremen and sometimes the Bene Gesserit. Chakbosa derived its structure and writing format from the war of assassins. In ‘Dune,’ some great houses like the House of Atreides adopted the language in war.
Farsi is an extinct language once used by the Fremen. Farsi was an ancient Terran language and the primary tongue of speaking and writing for Poritrin. However, the language died in 7500 BG.
The Fremen Language
The Fremen language was a mixture of Arabic, an ancient Erath language, and Chakbosa, the language spoken by the Zensunni. Though the Fremen language gets most of its words from Arabic, Chakbosa elements got inculcated into it. The Fremen language steered towards simplification and thus, avoided the complexities of Arabic words pronunciations.
Islamiyet is the language spoken by the Tleilaxu. Due to its secretive nature, Islamiyet could only get used in a Kehl.
Tamashek is an ancient language that got spoken on Selusa Secundus. Some words of the Fremen like Sietch got derived from the language.
Glossary Terms Associated with Galach and other Languages of Dune
Here is a list of words associated with Galach and other Dune Languages:
- Kehl: A Kehl is a Tleilaxu council comprising only Tleilaxu masters. Due to the secrecy of the Tleilaxu, languages like Islamiyet got spoken.
- Zensunni: The Zensunni are the ancestors of the Fremen. They first arrived on the desert planet by accident, and after staying for some time, they got attuned to the harsh environmental conditions Arrakis threw at them.
Is Galach English?
Galach is the official language of the Imperium. The language originated from English and other ancient languages of Earth. Because of its diversity, there were many variations of Galach in written and spoken form. Some examples of languages derived from Galach include the battle language used by the Atreides when in battle; this language encoded Galach in a way that made the enemy unable to read commands.
What is Chakbosa?
Chakbosa was known as magnetic language, as it was a hybrid of different Bhotani dialects. The language got used exclusively by the Fremen and the Bene Gesserit. Chakbosa got created after the War of Assassins.
What is Islamiyet?
Islamiyet is a language spoken exclusively by the Tleilaxu. Because of its secrecy, Islamiyet got used only in the Kehl, a gathering of Tleilaxu masters. After the Tleilaxu got defeated by the Honored Matres, Islamiyet faded into irrelevance as its users got destroyed.
Did the Fremen speak Galach?
The Fremen spoke a language that got derived primarily from Arabic. Though their variation offered simplicity at its core, the Fremen wrote and spoke Arabic words. Though Arabic was the primary part of the Fremen language, Galach was also present